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Cheated

You may've had some shitty, soul-crushing jobs, but nothing like this luckless bastard. It's like the Boss says. You spend your life waiting for a moment that just don't come...


Cheated by Ryan Sayles


Be excited, they said. You’ve got this in the bag.

Perfect job for you. You’ll slide right in there. Me. This guy. I felt like a good candidate. There might be better somewhere in the world, but not here, now. Not for this position. Folks gave me some books, of course. Things to study and know ahead of time. Those that came before me pulled me aside, gave me pep talks and advice. Back-patting. Premature congratulations. Things they wish they had been told before it happened to them. I felt ready. Confident.

When the day came, I ramped up for it. Everything I had prepared for led up to this moment. New job: fatherhood. And the baby, turns out it’s a different race than the wife and me. Not my job, then. Someone else beat me out and the wife forgot to notify me. Nothing like walking naïve and face-first into a surprise ending.

Of course, that’s not the best defense for murder, but I didn’t study for law either.

Ryan Sayles has been published on such sites as Shotgun Honey and Nefarious Muse. Under the pen name Derek Kelly he has been published on Crime Factory and Beat to a Pulp. He has been included in two print anthologies and has a forthcoming novel through Snubnose Press.